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Bethesda is the Best in October

Capital Crescent Trail between mile marker 6.0 and 6.5

Capital Crescent Trail between mile marker 6.0 and 6.5

Bethesda is truly a wonderful place to be in the fall and there is no better time than the month of October.  The leaves begin to change color and the air cools off but remains warm enough to sport a light sweater or jacket and a comfy light scarf.  Take a walk on the ever-popular Capital Crescent Trail and perhaps you’ll spot a deer, a fox or an owl hovering in the trees.  Oh, and there’s always pumpkin this-and-that to grab at one of the 180+ area restaurants.  C’mon, you know you want that taste of fall no matter how cliche!

Looking for something to do besides eating and drinking in Bethesda?  For you more adventurous types, check out our concerts, classes, exhibits and events around town at the non-profit Bethesda Urban Partnership or “BUP”.  Established in 1994, the organization creates and promotes a variety of  events and festivals for the community.

Sculptures on Woodmont Ave.

Sculptures on Woodmont Ave.

One of our favorite events is the upcoming Bethesda Row Arts Festival scheduled this year for Saturday, October 15th, 2016 from 11 AM -6 PM and Sunday, October 16th, 2016 from 10 AM – 5 PM.  The event is FREE…. What’s not to love?!

Oh right, you won’t love the parking!  Perhaps try parking just outside of town at the Bethesda Pool and walking into town on the Capital Crescent Trail (about 1/2 mile).  At this time of year, it’s a perfect stroll and you’ll pop right out onto Bethesda Ave in the heart of the festival.  Enjoy!

 

Bethesda Row Arts Festival Oct. 18-19, 2014

Bethesda Row Arts Festival October 18-19, 2014

Bethesda Row Arts Festival October 18-19, 2014

My favorite month of the year in Bethesda is absolutely the month of October!  The fall colors come out and can be enjoyed best along the Capital Crescent Trail.  The weather is mild and the festivals in town are plentiful!  We always enjoy the Taste of Bethesda, the Friday night Art Walks, Oktoberfests  and Halloween events and of course, the Bethesda Row Arts Festival.

This year the 17th Annual Bethesda Row Arts Festival will be held on Saturday, October 18th from 11 AM to 6 PM and on Sunday, October 19th from 10 AM – 5 PM along Bethesda Ave, Elm Street and Woodmont.  Admission is free.

Bethesda Arts Festival 2013

Bethesda Arts Festival 2013

 

With approximately 90 vendors exhibiting their talents, you are sure to find something to excite the senses and compliment your decor…or perhaps a unique holiday gift for a loved one.

Prices will range from around $20 up to tens of thousands.  Whether you intend to make a purchase or just enjoy the show, it’s always fun to stroll around with a warm cup of java and listen to the live music while soaking in the art and the atmosphere.  Rain or shine the show will go on.  For more details check out BethesdaRowArts.org.

Fine Fun at Bethesda Fine Arts Festival 2014

Bethesda Fine Arts Fest 2014

Bethesda Fine Arts Fest 2014

Calling all art enthusiasts!  Don’t miss the last day of the 11th Annual Bethesda Fine Arts Festival.  With over 120 booths featuring jewelry, fine art, hand-crafted furniture and more, this annual tradition is one of my personal favorites in our town.

This year the festival is located at Auburn & Norfolk Avenues at Woodmont Triangle.  It’s open Saturday, May 10th from 10 AM – 6 PM and Sunday, May 11th from 10 AM to 5 PM.  FREE parking everywhere – all meters and public garages on Sunday.  Live bands are featured throughout the day including one of our favorites, The 19th Street Band who is playing today from 12:30 – 2:30 PM.  The Fine Arts Festival is produced by Bethesda Urban Partnership and the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District.  

P.S. A little tip we can give you from our visit yesterday – the chili dog at the Hard Times Cafe booth is absolutely irresistible!  If you do not intend to eat a chili dog, don’t even go near there!  Even though we had just had lunch, we caved and HAD to indulge in a chili dog.  Frankly, I can’t say I regret it!

So take Mom out today and enjoy the art, the music and perhaps some mouth-watering fun at the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival!

Deck Your Pet and Visit Santa at Bethesda Lane

This weekend pack up your pets, head to Bethesda Lane and grab an adorable photo with Santa for only $10.  No reservation needed.  The event is going on from 12 PM – 2 PM on Saturday, December 7th and Sunday, December Spotty8th, 2013.  All of the proceeds from this event go to the Montgomery County Humane Society.  Costumes are encouraged! For details, visit BethesdaRow.com

They will be accepting supply donations as well so be sure to grab any gently used bedding or towels as well as unopened food, treats of toys to help out pets in need.  They will also have a few furry friends on site that are looking for warm homes this holiday season.  Grab the whole family and head down to Bethesda Lane to create a fun memory this holiday season.  Ho Ho Ho…Yip Yip Yip!

 

 

Top 5 Things to do in Bethesda in October

Capital Crescent Trail

Capital Crescent Trail

October is, in my opinion, the most wonderful time of the year.  It started at a young age for me…my birthday is in October.  At my current age however, that is no longer a good thing.  Yet the month remains my favorite of the year!  Football season is in full swing, the weather is wonderful, the leaves are changing color, Oktoberfests abound, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie and all things pumpkin are aplenty.  What’s not to love?!

Bethesda has some great October fun to offer as well.  Here is our TOP 5 things to do in Bethesda in October:

1.  Taste of Bethesda is usually the first Saturday of the month; this year it’s Saturday, October 5th from 11 AM – 4 PM.  Ticket sales end at 3:30 PM.  Over 60 restaurants will offer samples of some of their best treats while music lovers can enjoy live performances on five stages.  Kids have face painting and art & crafts to look forward to as well.  The event is held across several streets at the Woodmont Triangle area.

2. The Bethesda Row Arts Festival is being held this year from October 19-20th, 2013.  With over 190 artists from around the world featuring works ranging from the sublime to the surprising, you can’t beat a stroll through the streets of Bethesda for this amazing show.  Of course, no event in Bethesda is complete without food, music and fun, and this Festival is no exception!  Admission is free; however, bring your checkbook or credit card.  It’s awfully tough to leave empty handed when you can find some fantastic art to fill your hallowed halls.

3.  A walk on the Capital Crescent Trail in the month of October is different every week as the leaves change color and alight upon your path.  Walk, run, bike or stroll and enjoy the fresh, fall air as you appreciate one of the great features our town has to offer!  One of our personal favorite spots ranges from Little Falls Parkway (mile marker 4.0) down through the Dalecarlia Tunnel at Mile marker 6.5 just before the DC line.

4.  Bethesda abounds with cuisines from around the world!  One of our favorite activities in October is eating lunch or dinner outdoors at one of the 180+ restaurants in downtown Bethesda.  Bethesda Row offers an array of outdoor eating establishments including Mon Ami Gabi, The Mussel Bar, Assagi, Redwood, American Tap Room, Raku and many others!  And if you don’t want to eat outdoors, you can always just enjoy a nice drink at happy hour!

5. Halloween in Bethesda is an event!  From school festivals to neighborhood parties to late-night parties for the big kids, there is something spooky around every corner!  If you want to dress up and let off some steam, try a bar crawl to Union Jack’s, The Barking Dog, Tommy Joe’s or any of the other dozens of sports bars and pubs who are sure to be offering some freaky fun. Hitch a FREE ride around town on the Bethesda Circulator!

October in Bethesda is definitely the most wonderful time of the year!  What do you enjoy most?

~Amy

 

Belly Up to the Chocolate Bar in Bethesda

Store front of the new Max Brenner Chocolate Bar

Store front of the new Max Brenner Chocolate Bar

Looking for a fun date night idea or a unique venue for a birthday party?  A new and original bar coming to Bethesda Row has the solution.  Unlike Max Brenner’s other restaurants in Philadelphia and New York, this new location has been dubbed a chocolate bar and will be serving just dessert all day long.  A little piece of heaven may have just arrived in our town!

The menu includes everything from cocktails topped with marshmallows to a chocolate chunks pizza.  The french fries come dusted in cocoa and they even have a chocolate syringe if you are in need of a quick fix.  As a chocoholic, I am intrigued!

Located at 7263 Woodmont Avenue it was originally planned to open in mid to late June, but has hit a few delays and as of early July we are still waiting..and drooling in anticipation.  We could see doors opening as early as next week. Open! Open! Open! Open!

POST SCRIPT: Max Brenner Bethesda is open as of July 31, 2013!  Check out pictures of some of their delectable treats on this recent article from the Washington Post: Max Brenner Chocolate Bar Opens….

Free Concerts Every Thursday This Summer

In need of a relaxing outing for your family this summer?  Enjoy the FREE concert series, produced by Bethesda Urban Partnership, happening each Thursday evening from 6 PM – 8 PM featuring a wide variety of music from swing to reggae.  The concerts are held at Veteran’s Park located at the corner of Woodmont and Norfolk Avenues. As the weather heats up this summer take advantage of a perfect excuse to get out and play!

On July 11th, Bethesda Urban Partnership will be featuring a favorite of Bethesda365, The 19th Street Band!  Check out our earlier post featuring The 19th Street Band here.  We won’t be missing the chance to get out and see a great show.

Here is a link to the summer line-up: http://www.bethesda.org/bethesda/summer-concert-series

The concerts will begin Thursday, June 6th and continue through July 25th so rally your friends and family and head out to Veteran’s Park.

Photo courtesy of Bethesda Urban Partnership

Photo courtesy of Bethesda Urban Partnership

Imagination Bethesda 2013

The 19th Annual Imagination Bethesda will be held this Saturday, June 1st, 2013 from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM.  Imagination Bethesda is designed especially for kids 12 and under with face painting, dancing, art stations and places to play music and hear stories.

June 1, 2013 - Bethesda Urban Partnership

June 1, 2013 – Bethesda Urban Partnership

Performances will include:

11am – The Funny Guy

12pm – Rockin’ Railroad

1pm – Silly Bus

2pm – The Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance

2:45pm – Dansez! Dansez!

3pm – The Diggity Dudes

Event tents will line the streets of Auburn & Norfolk Avenues and street performers will be roving around. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself dancing, singing and playing like a kid!  Imagination Bethesda is produced by Bethesda Urban Partnership and is sponsored by MIX 107.3 FMWashington Parent and Bethesda Magazine.

40th Annual Strawberry Festival and Silent Auction

June 8th, 2013 Festival  Photo from redeemerbethesda.org

June 8th, 2013 Festival Photo from redeemerbethesda.org

Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 8, 2013 to enjoy some good eats and fun and games at the 40th Annual Strawberry Festival at Glen Echo.  The event will be held from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM.  In addition to all the freshly-picked strawberries that can be had, the event includes grilled lunch, a book and plant sale and kids can enjoy the moon bounce and face painting.  Plus, the exciting silent auction will feature artwork, business services and even vacation packages, among other great items.

This event is the largest annual fundraiser for The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer and they welcome visitors from the community to attend and enjoy the food and festivities. Personally, I am looking forward to some amazing homemade strawberry shortcake!

The Best Beer, Band and Bluegrass in Bethesda!

When one of our favorite places combines with one of our favorite entertainers in the Bethesda area, we are compelled to share the news!

19th Street Band at the Irish Inn Wed Nights

19th Street Band at the Irish Inn Wed Nights

Tonight (and every other Wednesday night) the 19th Street Band is playing at The Irish Inn at Glen Echo beginning at 8 PM.  The 19th Street Band trio includes Caolaidhe on guitar, Meghan on the fiddle and Mike on the upright bass.  The three bring the house down at every performance with a variety of songs including popular country, Celtic, rock and even some bluegrass music!  They get the crowd on their feet and having fun with their impressive acoustic performances and engaging personalities.  You can’t help singing and smiling after attending one of their shows!

The Irish Inn adds the warm, inviting pub atmosphere to the experience and of course, the good beer!  My personal favorite is Kilkenny, an Irish cream beer that originated in Kilkenny, Ireland.  Another little “must have” at the Irish Inn at Glen Echo is their calamari, believe it or not.  It’s pretty fantastic – or at least I thought so last time I was there…of course I had consumed a couple beers and sang a few good songs with the band so the mood was highly elevated!

If you’re looking for a great way to relax, unwind and have some fun, I highly recommend a visit to The Irish Inn on any Wednesday night that the 19th Street Band is playing!  Perhaps we will see you there on the dance floor, clapping your hands and singing along!  Cheers!

Azalea Festival at Landon School May 3-5th, 2013

Azaleas in full bloom

Azaleas in full bloom

It’s the 60th Annual Azalea Garden Festival at Landon School this year!  The event is a time-honored tradition to help raise funds for student financial assistance and faculty enrichment at Landon School.

The festival runs from 10 AM – 5 PM each day, May 3rd – 5th, 2013 and is located at 6101 Wilson Lane.  Parking and general admission are free.  The event offers more than just gorgeous blooming plants.  You will also find entertainment in the form of music, art and even Funland for the kids!  Oh, and of course, yummy treats too.

60th Annual Azalea Garden Festival

60th Annual Azalea Garden Festival

Click here to check out the pictures and an article from our 2011 visit to Funland at the Azalea Festival.  Perfect for all ages, the festival is wonderful time for the whole family.

Here is a link to the 2013 Landon Azalea Festival Garden booklet for this year’s event details.

 

All Fired Up on our Anniversary!

Our Memento from All Fired Up

Our Memento from All Fired Up

Recently we celebrated our wedding anniversary.  While our plan had always been to escape the cold in February and seek sunny shores for our special day, it just wasn’t in the cards this year.  Instead, we ended up in our favorite town, Bethesda of course!  After a nice lunch at one of our local haunts that we affectionately call “The Pain Restaurant” (because we can’t actually pronounce it’s real name) we found ourselves on Elm Street loading into our car and wondering what else to do to make the day both enjoyable and memorable.  As I looked over my shoulder, I noticed “All Fired Up” the do-it-yourself ceramics shop.  I had an idea…let’s make something to commemorate the day.  Brian eagerly agreed (I love that about him) and we were off on a creative adventure.  After getting the instructions from the helpful staff about how the process worked, we rolled up our sleeves and began painting a serving dish we selected.

We learned a great deal about the ceramics process while there – about the paints and how drastically the colors change after firing – about the tricks for writing words with paint and giving things texture.  But one of the best things we learned about “All Fired Up” is that you can drink wine while you work!  Who knew?!  Sadly, we did not know until we were almost finished with our two-hour project but NEXT TIME, we come prepared!  We laughed and talked while we created our little artsy memento of our special day and it was the perfect way to celebrate…despite the parking ticket we received from Montgomery County.  Bummer.  We highly recommend All Fired Up for little or big people who like to create and want to share some time doing something a little different.  The dish we made was $22.  I can’t think of a better experience we could have had for $22 and we have something we will keep forever to remember it by.

All Fired Up in Bethesda is located at 4923 Elm Street conveniently located near the Metro Red Line (Bethesda Station).  Their phone number is: 301-654-3206.

Day 192: Free Summer Concerts at Glen Echo Park

Glen Echo Park

One of my favorite things to do in the Bethesda area is to visit Glen Echo Park.  A visit to the park is like taking a walk back in time to a simpler day and age.  The sights and sounds of the carousel and surrounding historic buildings such as the Bumper Car Pavilion and Spanish Ballroom are so unique.  Each one of them have so many stories to tell.  You can read all about the Park’s history which began in 1891, as well as current news and events, by visiting their website.  You can also check out our Day 162 blog of 2011 for a quick summary.

We recommend a visit to Glen Echo Park any time but this Thursday, July 12th, 2012 there will be something special going on – a FREE summer concert at 7:30 PM at the Bumper Car Pavilion.  “The UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND SINGING SERGEANTS will present the music of America to the people of the world, the chorus has appeared before millions of people in live performances and countless more on radio and television programs,” according to the Glen Echo Park’s recent Facebook post.  No matter the weather – rain or shine – the show will go on!  In addition to the concert, the carousel is scheduled to run from 7 to 9pm. Too fun!  It makes me feel like a kid again!    

Glen Echo Park is offering free summer concerts such as this one every other Thursday beginning June 14 through August 23.  They will also offer a Special Sunday Afternoon Concert on July 22: Family Jazz Day, starting at 3:00 pm.  All concerts are free and open to the public.  Come on down and make your family experience a part of the history of magical Glen Echo Park.  ~Amy

Day 137: Calling all Bethesda Fashionistas to The Front Row!

The Front Row May 17-19, 2012

I keep seeing signs all over the Bethesda Lane/Bethesda Avenue corridor about “The Front Row” coming May 17-19th.  Curiosity finally got the best of me and I looked it up.  Glad I did because you will either want to avoid the chaos downtown or seize the opportunity for what may be some great buys, good meal deals and a great time with friends over the next 3 days – your choice!

The Front Row will be held May 17-19, 2012 and offer 40+ fashion events plus special menus and happy hours at local restaurants, celebrity guests, family fun and other events.  Some of the highlights include the following:

THURSDAY –  Washingtonian Magazine fashion editor Kate Bennett hosts a special film screening at Landmark’s Bethesda Row Theater of the award-winning documentary God Save My Shoes.   There will be a Q&A session afterward with the film’s producer.  The event kicks off at 7:30pm at 7235 Woodmont Ave. and is first-come, first serve, although the  Bethesda Row web site lists an RSVP at: [email protected].  Jaleo, Mussel Bar, Assaggi and Mon Ami Gabi will have happy hour specials before the film.  PLUS there will be trunk shows and sales at Urban Chic, Urban Country and Ginger.  Top it all off with a shoe cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake. 

FRIDAY fashion fun continues with a runway show at 7:30pm.  The VIP guest, Andy Cohen (who is the host of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live) will be there and has offered to sign his new book at Redwood Restaurant.  Cocktail specials are being offered at Redwood to make your time waiting in line a little less tedious. There will be extended hours on Bethesda Lane to shop the specials offered by local retailers until 9pm.

SATURDAY from 11 AM – 2 PM is a day all about your junior fashionistas with fashion trunk shows, sales and specials plus family fun including balloon animals, art projects, and cooking classes for the kids.  Equinox will also offer a free class EQ360 (no membership required) at 3 PM.  My advice is to get there early.

All the details for the three-day event can be found at the Bethesda Row website at: http://bethesdarow.com/events/specials 

Have fun either enjoying the events at The Front Row or avoiding downtown Bethesda and sticking around the back 40 for 3-days!

~Amy

Day 23: Two Great Reasons to Celebrate Food This Week in Bethesda!

It’s cold and dank outside but if you can brave the cruddy weather and plan a night out for dinner you will be rewarded!  This week happens to be Bethesda-Chevy Chase Restaurant week, my favorite excuse to enjoy a new restaurant in town! 

There are 33 participating establishments who will offer two and three-course lunches for $13 or $16 and dinners for $33 from today through January 29th, 2012.  It’s a great time to try something new or visit an old favorite.  For a complete list of participating restaurants and a link to their websites to make reservations, you can visit the Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP) web page.

Happy Year of the Dragon!

Today also happens to be the first day of the Chinese (Lunar) New Year!  It’s the lucky Year of the Dragon, year 4710 on the Chinese calendar.  Perhaps some celebratory dumplings and fortune cookies are in order? 

No matter what tasty dish you choose this week – cheeseburgers, chow mein, chalupas or chicken, enjoy the opportunity to share some good eats with family and friends.  May this New Year be filled with good fortune and blessings for you all.     ~Amy